62 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 1.8 hrs on record
Posted: Feb 17, 2016 @ 12:33pm
Updated: Feb 17, 2016 @ 12:34pm

Californium is a weird game.
If this review is too long for you, I suggest you to only read the first paragraph about the game's content and the final verdict at the end.

What is happening in the game:
You are in Californium, where you are known as a writer, who doesn't really write a lot and has some issues with drugs and relations to his close ones. For some reason, the world you're located in is shifting between different realities. You have who and why is doing that, while exploring the world around you.

  • Visual Style | Is simply astonishing. The world is beautiful and it just looks perfect. You could just be making screenshots all the time and setting them as your desktop background. It's one of the most beautiful games this year so far for sure.
  • Game Mechanics | Are weird. I didn't quite understand what am I supposed to do at first, but I don't understand the game anyway. I mean, I kind of do, but not really. It's just a wonderful experience. You are on a hunt for theta-shaped symbols, which only appear when you look at them from certain angle or look away from them and then click them quickly. It's different. While doing that, you also walk around and talk to people.
  • Storyline | Is complicated. At first, you won't understand what's happening and that's fine. The whole thing kind of clears up as you proceed in the game, but it feels kind of surreal all the time. Since this is something I like, this game is certainly for me. If you prefer killing people and running around, go buy CS:GO.
  • Soundtrack | Is ... interesting? And it does good to my ears. It just fits the style of this game and, well, I liked listening to is.
  • Voice Acting | Is as good as it should be. Every word that is spoken in game is voice acted and it just gives the impression that the game is made by professionals.

  • Messed-up Controls | When I started the game, it visually instructed me to use WASD keys to walk. That didn't work. When opening up the settings, the default setup was the weirdest one ever. I don't quite remember what it was, but it was something like CHTD. Also, there is no controller support.
  • Stairs | This is a really minor problem, but still: if you walk up the stairs and stop before you get to the top, you will slowly slide down again. Weird.
  • Saving | This game really really doesn't save your progress often enough. Although I like playing games like this one, I find it difficult to play for one hour without a break and that's where I like to have my progress saved. So, when I closed the game hoping that it was saved, I had to start all over again. And that happened to me twice.
  • Performance Issues | This game is really demanding when it comes to system resources, which is weird, because other Unity games usually aren't that demanding. I'm afraid this may be a big problem for some players.
  • Linux Support | Well, there isn't one. Unity has native support for Linux, so I don't know why Californium doesn't support it. I know it still requires some work to make a Linux build, but it's not like it would need months of work.

The final verdict:
This is the definition of a strange game. That's because it's a game and it's freaking strange. Before buying it, please, please, do yourself a favour and watch a Youtube video or two about Californium. If you like this kind of atmosphere, you'll love it, but you really need to be into this kind of games. Otherwise, you might soon start hating it.
I recommend this game, I really do. But this game is not for everybody, so be cautious when buying it. The price is really good for a nice-looking game like this one so consider buying it.


Note that my copy of this game was obtained for free for reviewing purposes. However, this did not affect the quality and objectivity of this review.

No drama, Just Reviews.
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PortalCat May 10, 2017 @ 11:44pm 
It's impressive that you can review the game without even mentioning PKD! The game is an hommage to his sci-fi novels and the bizarre worlds he creates.
Maya Feb 17, 2016 @ 11:02pm 
Performance issues you say? Interesting you should note that, because looking at the main video on the store page, and we can even see there the video doesn't play smooth. Looks like it wasn't optimised at all. Not very good way of advertising the game, so I believe you when you say it performs badly.
ZemunBRE Feb 17, 2016 @ 1:14pm 
ahh and they didnt give us review codes XD